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Alexandria went to the dogs long ago, and has been listed as one of 70 cities in the country as a Better City for Pets by Mars Petcare.

The certification takes a number of factors into account, including the number of dog parks, veterinarians, and pet-related businesses. There are an estimated 80,000 pets in the city with a population of 160,000.

“As the operator of the city’s only open-access animal shelter and a resource for domestic and wild animals as well as pet owners, we’re thrilled by this designation and will continue the efforts to keep Alexandria the amazing community it is, for both pets and people,” Animal Welfare League of Alexandria spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow.

Mars Petcare also gave AWLA also received awarded a Vision Award grant, which will fund housing opportunities for pets in their shelter.

“On behalf of the people and pets in the City of Alexandria, we are grateful to be recognized as a BETTER CITY FOR PETS,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in a statement. “The grant received from Mars Petcare will help the AWLA discover how it can better help all pets and families in our city.”

Alexandria was also named a Top 5 Best City for Dog Lovers in the U.S. 2021 by LawnStarter and one of the Most Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in the U.S. 2019 by Expedia.

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Rotttweiler mix Baxter weighs 95 pounds and likes nothing more than cuddling. The seven-year-old is also up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

“Baxter can be a bit shy at first, but once he gets to know you, he bonds hard, so expect a friend for life,” said AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter. “Baxter is quite the gentleman, who walks attentively on a leash even in the hustle and bustle of Old Town.”

Baxter’s adoption fees have been pre-paid by a generous donor, and he is available to meet from his foster home.

If you are interested in learning more or scheduling time to meet him, email [email protected] or call 703-746-4774, extension 2.

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One day after a severe snowstorm hit Alexandria, some things are returning to normal while other services remain closed.

Alexandria bus service DASH suspended service yesterday, but has since returned with snow routes — adjusted routes following more thoroughly cleared sections of roadway.

City facilities had a delayed reopening at 10 a.m. today with local courts remaining closed. Alexandria libraries scheduled to open at 10 a.m. will instead be opening at noon to give staff time to clear off the sidewalks. The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is open by-appointment starting at noon.

Alexandria City Public Schools has moved to virtual schooling for the second day in a row.

Those who set their trash, recycling, yard waste or leaf collection out today may have already discovered this, but the Monday collection has slid to Wednesday, Jan. 5., with every day offset by two after that.

Meanwhile, the city said in a press release that road and sidewalk clearing is still underway and property owners should be clearing sidewalks.

“Roads are plowed by priority,” the city said. “Snow emergency routes are plowed first, followed by secondary routes, intermediate routes, and then residential streets… Clearing sidewalks, driveways, and entrances is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, occupant, community association, or business. The recent storm event has been declared Level 2. As a result, responsible parties have 48 hours from the end of snowfall at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 3 to clear paths. The deadline for clearing paths and walkways is Wednesday, January 5, at 2 p.m.”

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Top ALXnow stories of 2021

Rather than an end-of-week wrap-up like we usually do, we at ALXnow figured it might be more fitting to do a look back at all the stories from the last year — our second full year of publication.

Thanks for reading and see you next year!

10. JUST IN: Banana Republic and Gap Outlet closing in Old Town on January 24

Earlier this month, national retailers Banana Republic and Gap Outlet announced they’d be closing for good on Jan. 24, 2022. Douglas Development purchased the buildings and now owns three of the four buildings at the intersection of Washington and King streets. As one commenter noted, according to Monopoly rules, they’re one building short of being able to put a hotel on the site.

9. JUST IN: T.C. Williams JV football team walks off field after alleged racial slur, spitting incident

Alexandria and Fairfax County school districts investigated allegations that members of the James W Robinson, Jr. Secondary School’s junior varsity football team spat at Alexandria players and said racial slurs at a game on April 5. Fairfax County Public Schools had a “stand-down” meeting with the sports team after to address the behavior.

8. Captain Sean Casey wins Democratic primary and is running unopposed for Sheriff in November

Alexandria Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Casey won the Democratic primary in June and was unopposed as he sailed into a election win in November. He will be replacing Dana Lawhorne, who is retiring after four consecutive terms as Sheriff.

7. Torpedo Factory plans could include cafe, maker-space, and ‘gloryholes’

In October, Diane Ruggiero, deputy director of recreation, parks and cultural activities, outlined plans for potential new additions to the Torpedo Factory, like a ground-floor cafe or humorously named glassblowing devices. The discussion was the start of the latest round in a long-running back-and-forth between the city and artists over what the future of the arts center should look like.

6. Go-go music star-turned Alexandria teacher ‘Sugar Bear’ in the spotlight after Oscars shoutout

Alexandria City High School teacher Gregory Elliott has a second-life as local go-go star Sugar Bear for the D.C. band Experience Unlimited. That second life was thrust into the limelight earlier this year when his song “Da’ Butt” from the Spike Lee film School Daze was featured at the Oscars. The band also put out a new album called Free Yourself. It’s pretty good.

5. UPDATED: Police responding to barricade situation near Alexandria City High School

A barricade situation near Woods Place and Quaker Lane, a few blocks from Alexandria City High School, started a little after noon on Nov. 23. Almost 24 hours and a few shots-fired at police later, the situation was resolved peacefully and the suspect was arrested. John Thomas Bey, a 52-year old resident of Alexandria, was been hit with several charges connected to his alleged role in a barricade situation — including unlawful discharge of a firearm in a school zone, attempted felonious assault, and malicious shooting into an occupied police vehicle.

4. UPDATED: Body found floating near Old Town pier

The body of what appears to be a woman was recovered from the Potomac River in late November. Foul play was not suspected.

3. BREAKING: Video shows brawl at Alexandria City High School cafeteria just two days after school starts

Just after school started in August, there were a series of brawls in some of the schools, including one at Alexandria City High School. Police weren’t dispatched to this fight, but were called in for three other incidents. A month later, a juvenile was shot at a McDonalds near Alexandria City High School, a popular post-school hang-out spot. The arguments over violence in schools culminated with the City Council returning school resource officers to Alexandria schools — though earlier this month those same SROs were removed pending an investigation into allegations of sexually inappropriate conversations with a former student.

2. BREAKING: Alexandria Police investigate drug distribution and possession at Episcopal High School

In just two days, a report about an investigation into drug distribution and possession at Episcopal High School became the second most-read story from the last year. Two students were “immediately withdrawn” after packages containing a cornucopia of illegal drugs were found in the private school’s mail room.

1. JUST IN: Rarity as American Viper Rattlesnake found in Old Town

The top story from 2021, at more than double the next closest story, was a rattlesnake found in Old Town. A venomous timber rattlesnake was picked up in Old Town by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria in June. The animal was found at 400 block of Gibbon Street and the snake was safely removed from the scene and transported to a wildlife center in Northern Virginia.

Courtesy AWLA/Twitter

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The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria’s Home For The Pawlidays event is still going on until Friday, and until then adoption fees for a number of Guinea pigs have been taken care of by a generous donor.

Elvis, Kobe, Tyty, Paper and Scissors are looking to be adopted to new homes, and prefer not to share with each other, AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow.

“If it’s your first time adopting a guinea pig family member, our team is happy to answer any questions you might have, from feeding and supplies to living space and veterinary care,” Hardter said. “There are many different breeds of guinea pigs, which give them a wide variety of features, such as hair color, patterns, lengths, body size and even ear shape. The most popular breeds are the American/English, Abyssinian, Teddy and Peruvian.”

Learn more about how to meet these guinea pigs at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

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Tilden, the two-year-old mastiff mix looks tough, but he’s a complete marshmallow. He’s up for adoption, too, with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

“Tilden’s an all-around cool guy who would be a great addition to any family,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow. “Whether they are active or looking for a couch potato, Tilden’s got you covered.”

He also knows a few tricks, like shake and sit.

Tilden’s adoption fees have been pre-paid by Priority Automotive, as part of the AWLA’s annual Home for the Pawlidays adoption event.

Not able to adopt but still want to help animals? AWLA needs donations for their (Stocking) Stuff the Van event on Dec. 24. Donations will be used at the AWLA, as well as to help pets throughout the community.

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The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria has a clever cat on its hands. Remus, a three-year-old male black cat, has learned a number of tricks with clicker training.

“Just like a dog, cats can learn tricks through clicker-training, and Remus is such a clever cookie that he’s been doing just that,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow. “In exchange for learning tricks like Sit, Spin, and High Five, Remus has been teaching the staff at the AWLA how to give treats, give more treats, and don’t stop giving treats.”

Remus’ adoption fees have been paid through the end of the year by Priority Automotive as part of the AWLA’s Home for the Pawlidays event.

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Butter will make your heart melt, and he’s up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

The 14-month-old terrier mix is deaf, but that doesn’t stop him from playing his favorite game of fetch.

“He’s a clever boy who’s been learning training via hand cues with the AWLA’s training team,” AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow. “He loves the tennis ball so much that sometimes, he prefers to keep it and cuddle up with rather than bringing it back.”

Butter’s adoption fees have been paid by a generous donor. Learn more about how to meet him at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

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Seven-year-old Nugget and two-year-old Lil Bit do everything together.

The male domestic short-haired cats are up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. They’re both shy cats, but an inseparable friendship helps them feel more confident, said AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter.

“Currently, the are running our Adoption office, but they would be happy to translate these skills into their new home, including closet reorganization, sorting out under the bed, checking on the tops of the highest cabinets – there’s no limit when they can do it together,” Hardter said.

Hardter added, “While this duo can be a bit shy, they also help each other feel more confident, and when you make friends with one of the boys, his brother is sure to come around soon.”

Learn more about how to meet Nugget and Lil Bit at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

Via AWLA
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The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria has a collection of guinea pigs who don’t want to fight for attention.

In other words, guinea pigs PaperScissors, Polka and Rock are looking to be adopted to new homes, and prefer not to share with each other, AWLA spokesperson Gina Hardter told ALXnow.

“Guinea pigs are fun, smart and social animals, who can be trained to do tricks and love hanging out with their human companions,” Hardter said. “Each of these piggies would love to be the king of their own castle, so they would prefer not to share with each other.”

Learn more about how to meet these guinea pigs at AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment.

Via AWLA

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